Designer spotlight: Interview with Aurélie Bidermann
Frills and finery
If you thought that copious ornamentation on jewellery was a thing of the past, think again. Here's a designer who proves that more is still most definitely more
To say that Aurélie Bidermann has an eye for accessories barely begins to describe her. The heavyweights of the cinematic world adore her jewellery, and she's designed a bag with Olivier Rousteing for Balmain — accessories are most certainly this Parisian's domain.
As for what you can expect from Bidermann, forget about the delicate, minimalistic hardware that's all the new-age rage. Her fine jewellery captures the allure of the elaborate and ornate, an aesthetic that's almost frowned upon these days. With rich yellow gold and lustrous precious stones, Bidermann's designs transports us back to the decadent era where baroque was the mode. Fancy, but all in good taste.
The authority on accessories shares with Buro her first brush with jewellery as a child and her personal style.
I would go through my mother's wardrobe and choose my favourite necklaces and bracelets of hers and customise them.
How did you begin designing jewellery? During my entire childhood, I was fascinated by jewellery. My grandmother was fond of bespoke fine pieces and ordered them from the most wonderful houses that did fine jewellery during the '50s and '60s. That was my first brush with it and when I first fell in love with jewellery. I remember my grandmother's made to measure Van Cleef & Arpels sander in pink gold with an engraved pond, tree and ducks encrusted in rubies and diamonds. I would go through my mother's wardrobe and choose my favourite necklaces and bracelets of hers and customise them. I literally glued, braided and transformed her jewellery. She used to be so upset when she discovered what I did, but would often wear those despite what I've done to them.
How would you describe the DNA of your brand? It is a mix of bold and statement pieces in gold, often in hammered and burnish finishes. There are touches of brightly coloured stones such as rubies and emeralds. Nature has been a huge influence on my work since the beginning. I love to use leaves, feathers and clovers.
Where do you draw inspiration from? We've read that you are quite the traveller. Travel and art used to be my first source of inspiration for a very long time. I tend to be inspired by a painting or a sculpture, and also by late socialites of the '60s. All of my jewellery pieces have a story behind them.
What is jewellery to you? Jewellery is all about accumulation. Have more of it and don't be afraid to mix, match and pile it on. It adds character to your outfits and can show who you really are. An outfit is acutally the accessory to your jewels.
If you had to put a finger on your personal style, how would you describe it? If I could resumé my style in one phrase, it will have to be a creative Parisian!
What is your perfect outfit? A Charvet men's shirt with vintage denim jeans and creative shoes. A colourful Aurélie Bidermann pouch to hold my essentials and, of course, lots of jewellery. When dressing to impress, I reach for my fine jewellery Lace necklace in yellow gold and diamond.
How about your greatest weakness when it comes to shopping? Cashmere sweaters. I think I have more than a 100 of them, probably 50 or so in grey and the others in all colours of the rainbow...
What's in the near future for you, anything in the pipeline that you're able to share with us? I teamed up with fashion knitwear label Wool and the Gang to create an exclusive clothing and accessories collection where wool statement pieces are decorated with an eclectic mix of my jewellery pieces.
And lastly, what is the one piece of jewellery that you can't live without? It's really so hard to pick one. I can't give up these: My nine personalised bangles, wheat bracelets and five bells bracelet in 18-carat gold on my left wrist. I never take those off. There is also my lucky charm necklace. I wear all of my charms; scarabs in many colours, clovers, and engraved bells on my hammered chain. When I can't wear my necklace, I wear the charms on a bracelet on my left wrist too!